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Cultivating a Summer of Interfaith Community

From Stony Point Center


The Summer Institute is as much about food and farming as about interfaith dialogue.

The Summer Institute is as much about food and farming as about interfaith dialogue.

The Stony Point Center’s Summer Institute of Living Traditions is deeply invested in cultivating relationships across religious boundaries.

One unique and successful way of doing this, the Institute has found, is hosting young people of the Abrahamic faiths for ten weeks during the summer, a time and place to “get your hands dirty in this work,” literally. A large part of the Summer Institute’s philosophy is based in caring for a community farm. This agricultural level of the program expands the simple summer institute model beyond the classroom – it opens the participants up to new arena of interfaith work.

This year the Summer Institute celebrates its 5-year anniversary. The Summer Institute has masterfully constructed a space where “students will be active members of the Community of Living Traditions (CLT), the multifaith community of Muslims, Christians and Jews that helps run the Stony Point Conference Center and engages in social activism.”

Sahar Alshalani explains, “The Institute is not simply a space where individuals of various faith traditions come together. It is a space where real, lived interreligious relationships are created and given a long-term sustainable ground. It doesn’t hurt that Stony Point Center is a beautiful, peaceful place,” Alshalani admits.

You can hear what Summer Institute alums say about this program in the video on the right. The Institute currently is seeking applicants for 2014 who are deeply invested in their own tradition, in spiritual formation, and in developing good relationships among faith traditions.

Applications and further information is here.